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Sync emails, appointments and events with Salesforce via Lightning Sync or Einstein Activity Capture

Sync emails, appointments and events with Salesforce via Lightning Sync or Einstein Activity Capture

Lightning Sync vs Einstein Activity Capture

Log an email from Outlook into your Salesforce environment with one click? Wow! But what if you could do it without that one click? Imagine if all your emails, appointments, events and contacts were automatically synchronized and linked to the right contact. Well, that’s what these 2 apps take care of. They both have the same goal: increase productivity! Outlook events in Salesforce, Salesforce events in Outlook or both? It’s entirely up to you. That’s the flexibility these 2 apps offer. Yet they differ in some areas. To make sure that your organization uses the right app to boost your productivity, Aiman El Maimouni, one of our functional consultants, compares the apps for you.

Salesforce Lightning Sync

This cloud-based product from Salesforce synchronizes contacts, tasks and events between Microsoft Outlook or Google and Salesforce. What exactly does this mean? That Lightning Sync does the work for you. It is important that the integration is configured properly. Once this is in place, the train is on the move!
As mentioned earlier, it is of course perfectly possible to choose in which direction you would like to see the synchronization. You have 3 options here:

  • Salesforce to Outlook
  • Outlook to Salesforce
  • Both Ways

The 3 options speak for themselves. But choose wisely because nobody wants 2 messy calendars.

Einstein Activity Capture

Einstein? As in Albert Einstein? No, it is not. But just as intelligent! Einstein Activity Capture is Salesforce’s 2nd cloud-based product that synchronizes contacts and events as well as emails. This product complements Lightning Sync. The automatic synchronization of emails is a bonus that comes with it. This extra can sometimes be the deciding factor in your choice. Not yet impressed? There are even more benefits associated with the Einstein Activity Capture:

  • Email Insights: provide a customized response for your customers

As the emails are processed by the artificial intelligence layer of Einstein Activity Capture, Salesforce can offer users useful information about the content and context of the email. This is done based on search terms. Furthermore, it can also provide you with suggested actions based on the email content. Thus, email insights helps you provide a tailored response to the customer.

Einstein Activity Capture: provide a customized response for your customers

  • Sending emails from Salesforce but also visible in your Outlook

When you send emails through Salesforce, they are typically sent through Salesforce’s email servers. With Einstein Activity Capture, you can send these emails from Salesforce and they just show up in your “sent items” folder in Outlook. Einstein Activity Capture recognizes the link between Salesforce and Outlook and ensures that you don’t have to keep switching between the two. The recipient simply sees the sender’s email address, even though the email was sent from Salesforce.

Einstein Activity Capture: Recommended Connections

  • Recommended Connections

With the Winter ’19 release, a new Einstein feature called Recommended Connections shows important connections within your network (i.e. fellow Salesforce users). Einstein shows you how many interactions another user has had with a Lead or Contact, so you can see if it would be beneficial to work with this colleague.

  • Activity Metrics

One of the biggest benefits of Einstein Activity Capture is the calculation of activity metrics. As Salesforce analyzes activity data with Einstein AI, Salesforce calculates key metrics including date of last activity, inactive days and date of last call. Based on this data, you can easily and quickly see when it’s time for a new touchpoint.

  • Activity Dashboard

The Activity Dashboard displays an overview of sales activities that have been manually added to Salesforce via Einstein Activity Capture. These metrics are located in the Analytics app under Setup. The only downside is that these dashboards are not yet customizable, so you can only view these built-in metrics.

Sounds to good to be true right? Unfortunately, in our opinion, there are also some downsides to this:

  • Activities are not stored in Salesforce

Activities captured by Einstein Activity Capture are not stored in Salesforce. They are stored in a secure server outside of Salesforce, which causes a lot of problems. We’ll explain a few of them for you:

  • Activities cannot be reported by standard Salesforce reports: hence this is ‘fixed’ via Activities Dashboard and Metrics
  • Users cannot delete emails from Einstein Activity Capture. This must be performed by a Salesforce Admin.
  • If at any point you decide to deactivate Einstein Activity Capture, all activities captured by Einstein Activity Capture will no longer be reflected on your records in Salesforce!

These are still missing links and may have some implications. Salesforce does continue to develop this feature, so perhaps this will be optimized in the near future.

What is your best choice between Lightning Sync and Einstein Activity Capture?

What is the right choice for your organization? That, no surprise, depends entirely on what you need. Our preference is mainly for the classic Lightning Sync. This is because the AI of Einstein Activity Capture still has a downside but it’s a work in progress and Salesforce is known for its innovation. So hopefully we won’t be left hungry for too long.

Nevertheless, both features offer an enormous added value. The benefits of the world’s number one CRM software continue to evolve and that means that there will definitely be more integrations or upgrades. We will keep you up to date on this. So don’t miss our quarterly updates and subscribe to our newsletter.


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